Clients Trip Reports Southern Africa: Aug – Oct 2023
Legends of Zimbabwe Safari
We have so much to share with you. We kept a journal and have more than a thousand pictures to sift through. We’ll send you a more complete description as we get time to put things together but let us say for now that it was a fantastic trip! We had no idea what to expect and were so stunned at every turn. The accommodations were first class and the staff at Vundu and Camp Hwange did everything possible to make us comfortable. Especially at Vundu, we felt like part of the family.
The arrangements you made to have us met and taken care of at every point were spot on. And thank you for arranging the very special dinner our last night at Hwange. Steak for 2 on the veranda of our chalet was quite the experience.
We wanted a full experience with the animals and our guides went above and beyond to make it all happen.
Thank you SO VERY MUCH!
Jim Kaplan and Jeanne Smith, Sep-Oct 2023
Safari to Botswana and South Africa
The trip overall was amazing! We saw so many animals, including the big 5! On the last safari we weren’t able to see a rhino but this time around we did in close proximity to our vehicle which was pretty incredible! All the animals, but especially the elephants, big cats, leopards and giraffes were just magical!
Botswana was wonderful all around. We loved Ngoma Lodge with its view of herds on the distant plains. Our room was lovely and comfortable, and the staff was professional and so warm. Meals were delicious and beautifully plated at dinner with alcohol included (great selection of South African wines), which we didn’t expect. We were supposed to have a shared guide but ended up with our own guide, Sam who gave us excellent game drives with lots of sightings and best of all was the river safari on the Chobe River. That was unforgettable! We saw two bull elephants playing in the water right in front of the boat.
Victoria Falls was beautiful and our tour with Cynthia was relaxed and informative. We enjoyed staying at the attractive Palm River Hotel. Loved that it had monkeys and warthogs wandering on the property. An elephant even came through at dinner time helping himself to the Amarillo nuts- shaking them out of the tree. Mesmerizing entertainment for all the diners.
The best property was at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge; exquisite with exceptional service and wildlife right outside our villa and walking around the lodge. Meals were delicious and again all alcohol was included. It was so hard to leave! Our guides, Cruz and Andries were fantastic; we had private drives with them one day and shared drives on the second day. We saw so much wildlife via their excellent tracking.
Ending in Cape Town was a perfect ending. I’m glad we went with One and Only; excellent service and location. We were very pleased with our guide, Andrew who was knowledgeable and relaxed. He selected wonderful wineries and restaurants for our lunches. And the excursion to Table Mountain and along the coast to the Cape of Good Hope was so scenic and memorable. I wish we had more time in Cape Town.
The guides are really the secret to a successful experience, and they were all exceptional. Professional, caring, respectful, scientifically educated, environmentally conscious, and so knowledgeable…
Overall, a class A trip, right up there with Kenya and Tanzania 10 years ago. We always recommend Africa Adventure Company. You guys are truly the best.
Annie Beharry & Dawn Flick, Sep 2023
Safari to Tanzania, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Botswana
Thank you for curating this wonderful tour. It is without description. I just don’t have the words to describe all the experiences and the wonderful people we met. We would come back to camp after a game drive saying we just would not be able to top that one. And yet at the next drive, something would top that one!
Nothing will ever be more wonderful than the gorilla trek, however. Best thing I’ve done in my entire life.
Watching the baby elephant play in the mud on the river bank might be the cutest thing ever, but the gorilla toddlers wrestling comes a close first or second. Might be a tie!!
There were some Geographic moments, reminding us that Mother Nature is not always cuddly and pretty, but is always amazing.
I will definitely highly recommend not only your company, but any visit to these countries to my friends and family…
Thank you again,
Beverly Bowman, Sep 2023
Classic Flying Safari to Botswana
Dear Alison and Staff,
Want to thank all of you so very much for all the work and detail you put into making our 2023 Africa trip “the best ever”. I know the four people that traveled with us and had never been to Africa were blown away by what they saw and did. From my perspective, after having been there three times before, this was the absolute best. You provided us with such an amazing picture of Botswana, the animals, the people and the landscape. From my point of view we saw more animals than ever before. The guides were amazing – low-key, accommodating and so good at educating us about everything we experienced. Just thank you so much for setting up such an amazing trip…
For me, personally, my favorite camp was Chitabe. The wildlife sightings were unbelievable, the guide was so good and so much fun and the camp itself was a great balance of comfort and quality with a laid-back atmosphere. It just could not have been better. Just for feedback for you, I would rank the rest of the camps in this order: Savuti, Little Vumbura and Zarafa. The staffs at all of them were great, as were the guides…I’m just talking about the camp itself. There isn’t one that I wouldn’t return to and we didn’t have a bad day…that ranking is just from me and my gut feeling.
Also thank you for all the connection arrangements that were made. There was always someone to greet us as we got to a new place and helped us get through the hoops necessary in going from country to country, etc. Again, they were helpful and cheerful and made us feel welcome. You have great people working in your organization.
If we ever have a chance to come back (hard to say as we get older) I would definitely plan and travel with Africa Adventure Company.
Thank you hardly says enough…but THANK YOU.
Lee (Leola) Kennicke, Sep 2023
Big Five Safari to South Africa
We returned from our trip and Karen and I can’t thank you and your team enough for the amazing experience we had on our trip to Cape Town and Madikwe. From top to bottom everything was excellent. Starting with you, we appreciate the time you spent listening to the type of trip we wanted and the recommendations you made, from suggested tours, places to eat and how to get around Cape Town safely. Additionally, we were most appreciative at your availability, responsiveness to questions, and making the process as easy as possible. You were a pleasure to work with.
Regarding our trip and those on the ground, everyone we dealt with was outstanding. Starting with Menzies, we were warmly greeted upon landing and after customs, were quickly handed over for our ride to the hotel. Our Cape Town Guide was Christine. She was superb. Very experienced, knowledgeable about the area and a warm and friendly person that was a pleasure to be around while touring Cape Town, the coast and wine country. She was absolutely superb and so good, we questioned whether the safari portion could top the experience we had in Cape Town.
Our concern was short lived as our stay at the Mateya Safari Lodge was incredible. We were blown away. The lodge and grounds are absolutely beautiful and extremely well maintained. As our luck would have it, we were the only guests at the lodge during our stay, so we had everything to ourselves and had a completely private experience. A private guide and spotter on our morning and afternoon drives, the only people at dinner, signing up for the spa etc… Morne, our guide, was phenomenal, and the spotter, Joseph, didn’t miss a thing. We saw 4 of the big 5, the leopard eluded us. The room, lodge itself, including dining areas, spa, gym and our suite were excellent. Spa treatments were very inexpensive. A 90 minute massage was $50 US. Hard to believe and we received the best massages we’ve ever had. Judith was excellent. Staff, including Michelle, Ephram and Lindywere also excellent. All in all, we felt part of the Mateya family and were so sad to leave…
We got many great pictures, both in Cape Town and in Madikwe. We saw Ostriches, a wild zebra, penguins, baboons, whales, seals and other wildlife in Cape Town. The game viewing in Madikwe was plentiful. Thank you again for everything. We’ve given your name to many and have highly recommended you to our friends considering a trip to South Africa.
Thanks for everything.
David and Karen Lefton, Sep 2023
Best of Southern Africa Safari
Our trip to Africa was absolutely amazing. Had such a fabulous time it was a trip our family will remember forever.
Cape Town was perfect. We loved staying at the V and A hotel. Staff was so nice and breakfast was delicious and Looch was the perfect guide. She knew when to join us when to back off how much to say and she knew all the answers to our questions. She was helpful in every way. Our experiences were wonderful.
MalaMala couldn’t have been better. We were concerned at first that we were staying too long, which was totally our decision but by the end we realized it was perfect. Tabs, our guide, we really felt he was the best one there from what we could see. Our children enjoyed the safaris and tabs found something exciting for us to see every single day. We really felt he wanted to show us a good time and had the ability to track the animals and find something special for us every day. Food and accommodations are lovely.
Thorntree River Lodge was great. Staff could not have been nicer and we really felt it was the most delicious food on the trip. The animals all around and the trip to Devil’s Pool was perfect. We all went in!…
Elena, thank you so much for all of your work and answering all of our questions along the way. I felt you knew your stuff and worked so hard for us. It was a terrific trip.
Joni Zalasky, Sep 2023
Safari to Botswana and Zimbabwe and Cape Town Visit
Thank you for arranging our trip. It was epic! The trip far exceeded my expectations!
The cycle (circle) of life, the synchronicity, sights and sounds of the animals was incredible to experience. What a profound impact it had on me.
We loved the One & Only. What a lovely property and the staff was great. Paul Barker was a knowledgeable, good guy. Thoroughly enjoyed his life experiences, insights, and perspectives of Cape Town and its history.
Having the Menzies meet, and assist was a real plus. It made navigating the airports a breeze.
Chitabe was very nice. We had a great guide, Tank. He was accommodating, knowledgeable and was passionate about the animals. He did everything possible to make sure we had a GREAT experience. After the first two game drives, I felt like I could check all the boxes!
Vumbura Plains was amazing. Almost didn’t want to leave our accommodations!! The service and attention to detail was top-notch. They went above and beyond to make us happy and have a great experience. Bambe, our guide, did a good job…
Vundu Camp was a completely different vibe. Loved the warmth, hospitality, and family feel of the camp. Sophie, the Manager was a sweetheart. It was nice having the guides be a complete part of our experience (having dinner, cocktails, etc.)…
Our guide at Vundu, Mitch, was unbelievable. What a gift. In fact, if I were to schedule another Safari, I would strongly consider having him as our guide for the entire Safari portion of the trip. His breathe of knowledge, experience, personality and passion is incredible. Loved him!…
Thank YOU for a wonderful African Safari!
Beth Adkisson, Aug 2023
Luxury Birthday Safari to Botswana and South Africa
Hi Mark and Team,
Our trip was absolutely AMAZING!!! We were just remarking today how incredible it was to have a trip of this kind flawlessly executed! The itinerary was perfect, the selection of camps gave us a lovely variety of experiences and the time in Cape Town with our guide Andrew was exactly what we hoped for. You all did an incredible job preparing us for the trip – we knew exactly what to expect. The accommodations, the guides, the wonderful wildlife – everything was beyond our expectations!!!
Now we have to decide which countries are next!!!
Thank you all again. We could not be more pleased and will definitely refer our friends to you.
Lisa Cregan, Aug 2023
Flying Safari to Zimbabwe
Hello to All at Africa Adventure Company!
Thank each of you for providing an absolutely amazing lifetime adventure for me in Zimbabwe.
I’m afraid I would never be able to get anything else done today (or week) if I complimented you on each and every aspect of this wonderful trip.
Planning Arrangements – Excellent – from discussing personally what we were interested in and how we liked to travel – you came up with an itinerary that exceeded my expectations. And considering you provided this with such a short lead time, it was extra impressive and appreciated. The logistics were planned to the detail and were concisely and plainly communicated such that we were able to travel free of those concerns with one exception…
Lodges – Perfect
Intercontinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport – so convenient – after a very long flight it was so nice to just go across the street to a very comfortable hotel to have a nice meal, relax & refresh before the next leg of the trip.
Ilala Lodge was very nice, great meals, and great proximity to the Falls…
Both Hwange Camp and Vundu were exactly as described and quite comfortable. Their meals were delicious as well. I personally loved being in those camps with no physical boundaries. What a thrill having a bull elephant munching outside one’s tent.
Guides & Game Viewing – Is there an adjective greater than excellent.
Cynthia – at Victoria Falls – very kind, personable and of course knowledgeable.
Dharmesh – Hwange – knowledge galore & fun– especially in pointing out specifics to that area – very interesting learning about the landscape and flora. And the Elephants! What a gift to see so many together- treasured memories. Next time – Honey Badger!
Doug – Mana Pools – even though he was a ‘substitute’ for our original guide – I cannot imagine any one doing a better job (Mitch was originally booked but Bushlife made a last minute switch) – we are not the spryest of travelers but he always made sure we were safe, comfortable and able to fully enjoy visiting the environment. And he had so many stories and info about the place and the animals. I must also include the amazing hosts: Des & Nick -so very nice, friendly and hospitable not to mention devoted conservationists. And to be able to witness a collaring of a wild bull – you certainly over-delivered there!. Never ever imagined being privileged to see that. So much respect for the hard work and danger involved in their commitment to conservation…
To Mark & all at Africa Adventure Company: I have never used your services before and was so amazed by the trip to Zimbabwe that I’ve been telling others about you…
Many, many thanks again for an absolutely incredible experience with unbelievable memories!
Janet Dray, Aug 2023
Safari to Botswana and Visit to Victoria Falls
Thank you!! We had an amazing adventure! I was proud to tell everyone, when asked that I used AAC to book the trip. You have quite a good reputation! Those who had heard of you or used you were very complimentary – including some of the guides and staff. I met Brooks and Caroline at 4 Rivers.
Highlights – We loved the accommodations at all three camps! Mpala Jena and 4 Rivers were very nice. But, overall I think I enjoyed our stay at Pom Pom the most. Primarily because that is where we got to see the most wildlife.
We went on 16 game drives and only (3) of those did we have to share the vehicle! We saw most guest were having to go with anywhere from 4-8 other guests. So, we considered ourselves very fortunate and a highlight of the trip.
We think we had the best guides at all (3) camps.
The food was delicious and we enjoyed the helicopter ride and motor boat ride (we were the only two on the boat) to the Heron Island (near Splash).
The highlights of the Game Drives were:
- We saw an ostrich sitting on her nest at 4 Rivers. The vehicle startled her and when she stood up we actually saw a chick hatching!!! I am sure most guests and/or guides don’t see that happen very often – if at all!
- We saw the Big 5 on one morning Game Drive in Pom Pom!
I had read prior to going to “be flexible” as things change. I also read if something doesn’t go right, talk to the manager at the camp because there is nothing you can do about it if we wait until we get back. The advice came in handy…
Thanks again for your part in making this trip an amazing adventure for us. I had mentioned that this would probably be our only trip to Africa . . . but having been and enjoying it so much, I hope to go back. I still need to see Splash! Ha! Ha!
Your happy client,
Kerrie Dreher, Aug 2023
Best of Southern Africa Safari
We have been back for over a week now and I have been working on editing pictures and getting life back to normal.
The trip was excellent and full of interesting explorations. Here is my quick summary:
– African Rock Hotel was a gem and pleasant way to decompress after the long flight.
– All greeters and transportation services were a great comfort and professional.
– Inter-Africa flights went smoothly and handled our luggage with care.
– Chobe and Muchenje Safari Lodge was welcoming and accommodating. We had very good game drives and guide. Food was good. They arranged a special dinner to celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary as a surprise.
– The transfer to Zimbabwe presented us with a very long wait at the border. Fortunately our driver somehow found a way to expedite us and skip the long line.
– Batonka Guest Lodge reminded me of British colonial days. Room was pleasant with perhaps the biggest bathroom we have ever seen.
– Victoria Falls and our guide was very good. We appreciated the personalization by our guide. There was more walking than my wife was comfortable with. We modified the tour and it was fine (we skipped several lookouts).
– Cape Town was a wonderful and unexpected experience. The area reminded us of California with the coastline and trendy spots on the harbor. The Victoria & Alfred Hotel room was wonderful… large and modern with a great view of the harbor and mountain (unfortunately it was cloudy most of the time se we only saw tabletop the last day.
– Mala Mala was a perfect capstone for the trip. Everything was excellent… accommodations, food, drives. Beautiful grounds and landscaping and top notch service. Our guide, Bens, was excellent and took good care of us.
– Of course, the long international flights are never much fun but perhaps payment for the enjoyment we experienced while in Africa. Thankfully all flights were on-time and we had no luggage problems.
– And I need to mention how much we appreciated the personalized suggested tip guidance you provided.
Thank you for a second memorable trip.
John Linn & Linda Hughes, Aug 2023
Dream Southern Africa Safari
Hi Mark, Saskia and Team,
We had an amazing trip of a lifetime and cannot thank you enough for preparing the perfect itinerary for us! Every detail was taken care of, from the meet and greet process, transportation, accommodations and guides. Mombo and DumaTau camps were especially memorable. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting our guides, Moss at Mombo and Rogers at DumaTau. They were very experienced, extremely knowledgeable, and fun! Our friends, Karen and Curtis had the best time ever!
Thank you so much!
Ann and Randy Lee, Aug 2023
Safari to Botswana and South Africa
I had a wonderful time and want to plan my next African adventure. I loved Chobe and the people at Muchenje. They welcomed us like family and the wildlife there was outstanding. Savannah was luxurious. They thought of everything you could want in the cottage and the food was gourmet. The morning game drives were the highlight for me.
Thank you for organizing my favorite trip ever. I’ll be in touch for the next one.
Bryna Pinsky, Aug 2023
Safari to Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, Hwange, Sabi Sand and Cape Town
Our safari trip was awesome! It exceeded our expectations in every way.
Overall, everything went according to plan. No logistical issues. We always knew where we had to go, and the various Wilderness and other staff that helped us were great.
Some quick observations about the different places we stayed:
Johannesburg: The City Lodge OR Tambo Hotel was fine for our one-night stay. Dinner and breakfast in the restaurant were good, and it was convenient to the airport.
Wilderness Chitabe: We really enjoyed this place. We started seeing wildlife on the ride from the airstrip to the camp. We had more frequent wildlife sightings here than in the other camps. I think we saw 4 of the Big Five in the first 24 hours (no rhinos here). Our guide OD was excellent, and we had him to ourselves. The staff at all the camps were great, but I think the Chitabe staff were the warmest and friendliest…
Victoria Falls: …Our tour guide Precious was excellent. The Palm River Hotel was very nice, and the food was very good. We enjoyed both the Rhino Game Drive with Nixon (we spotted 5 of the 11 rhinos at the preserve) and the Ra-Ikane Sunset Cruise.
Wilderness Davison’s: The tents here were similar to those at Chitabe but a bit more rustic. It was interesting being out in the open rather than on boardwalks as in Chitabe. Our guide Chamu was very good, though not quite as engaging as OD. Wildlife sightings were less frequent than Chitabe but the groups of animals were larger. One highlight was sitting in a structure next to a watering hole and watching elephants up close and personal. This was the only camp where we did any walking during our game drives. Food here was better than at Chitabe…
MalaMala: This was the most luxurious of the camps by far. Our guide Steff was our favorite guide of the 3 camps, very passionate about her job and the wildlife, and very engaging. If I recall correctly, this was the only camp where we saw rhinos other than the Stanley & Livingstone preserve in Vic Falls. Food here was very good.
Cape Town: Four Rosmead was a great boutique hotel, and Nadeen was very helpful. Our tour guide Rob was excellent, very knowledgeable, friendly, funny. We did a winery tour the first day, with stops in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, and a peninsula tour the next day. We had dinner at 3 of the restaurants on your top 11 list, Pot Luck Club, Grub & Vine, and Waterside. We enjoyed Pot Luck Club the most, but they were all very good. We spent our last day exploring the V&A Waterfront on our own. Rob brought us to the airport for our flight home…
Thanks for everything you did to make this an awesome experience. Many of the people we met had done multiple safaris, and they insist that we’ll do it again. If we do, we’ll definitely enlist your services again, and I will recommend your services to anyone else we know who are planning to go
Dave Schlesinger, Aug 2023